China committed to mutual relations

27 Nov, 2021 - 00:11 0 Views
China committed to mutual relations Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Guo Shaochun

The Herald

Elliot Ziwira Senior Writer

Amid concerted efforts to throw spanners in the works through a slanderous media onslaught against China, the Asian economic powerhouse remains unflinching in its backing of African countries, particularly Zimbabwe, by availing no-strings attached financial, moral and technological support to heighten the country’s socio-economic progress.

This was said by Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Guo Shaochun, during a media briefing where he decried the West’s approach to aid and cooperation with Africa.

He said China had never imposed its will on Zimbabwe as the two countries had come a long way in pursuit of the greater good.

“China rejects the Western approach in its assistance to, and cooperation with Africa,” said Ambassador Guo. “We never impose our will on Zimbabwe. On the contrary, we respect Zimbabwe and try to help Zimbabwe.

“We always pursue mutual benefits, and put the greater good first. China honours its pledges with efficient actions and tangible results.”

Ambassador Guo underscored China’s commitment to development in African countries through win-win collaborations as embodied in the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which has been in existence since 2000.

Although some Western politicians and their local cohorts seem to be obsessed with the so-called “Chinese debt-trap”, insinuating that there should be a catch to Zimbabwe and China’s cooperation, Ambassador Guo said there was nothing peculiar about debt, since industrialisation and economic take-off created funding gaps in their early stages.

“Debt in itself is not something to be feared,” he said. “What is dangerous is that debt or support becomes a tool for foreign forces to intervene in the domestic affairs of Zimbabwe.

“Chinese assistance to and cooperation with Africa never comes with political strings attached. It never involves any kind of economic coercion, such as using natural resources as a collateral.

“It is clear to all which areas Chinese funds support and what projects are delivered. In this sense, China’s support for Zimbabwe is the cleanest and most transparent.”

Ambassador Guo said China and Zimbabwe had always enjoyed mutual relations from the days of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle against colonialism.

After the United Nations’ ill-informed threat to impose economic sanctions on the Southern African country, China used its veto powers in the Security Council, for the first time in support of an African republic, to resist the move.

Ambassador Guo said when the West by-passed the UN Security Council to unilaterally impose illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe, with the objective to enforce regime change under the guise of democracy, China remained a brother’s keeper, and intervened in support of the country.

“To help promote Zimbabwe’s economic and social progress, we have worked together on a number of big projects,” he said.

Among the projects are the Kariba South Hydropower Station which added 300 megawatts to the national grid, and the Unit 7 and 8 of Hwange Thermal Power Station expected to bring in another 600 megawatts by next year.

The other ventures are the expansion of Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, expected to be complete by early 2022, which will see the airport increasing its passenger handling capacity to six million, and the completed Victoria Falls International Airport which is a game-changer for the local economy. China has also aided Zimbabwe in the construction of the National Sports Stadium, the Agricultural Demonstration Centre, schools and provincial and district hospitals, as well as the upgrading of NetOne’s Phase 3 ICT services launched in September this year.

The Asian powerhouse has also funded the construction of the new Parliament Building in Mt Hampden, which is anticipated to be complete in March next year, and the National Pharmaceutical Warehouse.

Zimbabwe and China have collaborated in agriculture and technology exchange, infrastructure development and in the health sector, among other spheres.

The outbreak of the new coronavirus in December 2019 has also seen China timely intervening in Zimbabwe through provision of critically-needed ventilators, personal protective equipment (PPEs) and vaccines.

It was this mutual collaboration that had ruffled feathers in some quarters across the Western world, leading to malicious attacks on social media and in some mainstream publications, aimed at Chinese investments.

Ambassador Guo said China remained unperturbed in its resolve for the common good.

“More pitifully, a few have to make a living by selling their motherland for a few US dollars,” he said. “Their dirty tricks are nothing new. We are not worried. China-Zimbabwe friendship is a time-tested one. These antics only make us more convinced we are doing something right and we should keep doing it.”

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